Senators on Wednesday expressed anger over comments credited to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, that the National Assembly lacks the power to alter the National Budget.
Speaking on behalf of angry senators, the Deputy Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who came in through point of order expressed dissatisfaction with the statement.
Na’Allah said no fewer than five senators came to his office to vent their anger on the statement.
He explained that the constitution is very clear on the matter that power of appropriation belongs to the National Assembly.
In his words: “I rise this morning based on what happened yesterday in my office.
“About five senators bombarded my office, angrily complaining about a statement allegedly credited to the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to the effect that the National Assembly does not possess any power to alter the budget submitted to it by the executive.
“I have offered explanations.
“What is important is the fact that we have operated this Constitution from 1999 to date.
“I am sure that everybody who knows me knows that I have some limited understanding of the provisions of the Constitution.
“I have also had the privilege to work with the Acting President while practicing in Lagos as a lawyer; we did a lot of cases together; he is somebody I know so much that I will rather believe that what was alleged to have been said could not have been said by him.
“And even it was, he must have been misquoted.”
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said it was possible the Acting President was misquoted.
Saraki said: “The point of order raised by the Deputy Minority Leader is very important.
“I too have the experience of having a couple of our colleagues coming to us on the budget of 2017.
“I am sure that the Acting President must have been misquoted because there is no ambiguity in the Constitution on our responsibilities.
“The matter has been cleared and settled.”